LDO Thermal Considerations
Battery-operated equipment (most notably cell phones and notebook computers) have created a strong demand for linear regulators in small packages. While such packages save space, they also have poor heat transfer characteristics. To minimize power dissipation, these regulators are designed to work with very low input/output voltage differentials, hence the name “low dropout regulators” or LDOs. LDOs specify maximum output current and input voltage limits, but blindly operating the LDO within these limits will surely result in exceeding the maximum power dissipation capability.
LDO, Thermal, AN23